Thursday, May 26, 2016

Carla Kerr and Friends from The Netherlands Explore Carrizozo and the Malpais

Monday, May 16, 2016

Carla, Eveline and Garrit drove to just beyond Carrizozo, New Mexico to the Malpais "Valley of Fires" National Park. The wind was blowing as only it can in New Mexico, but we managed to walk the entire 2/3 of a mile along the trail above the Malpais. There are so many desert plants and flowers that are fascinating and colorful. At one point, I even spotted a ground squirrel but he was too fast for my camera.

The lava did not come from a volcano, but rather from fissures in the earth's crust about 5,000 years ago and filled this valley with lava. The pictures will tell a story of the wild beauty of this area far better than I so here goes.

Gerrit and Eveline on the beginning of the raised trail
Lava, various cacti and scrub bushes
At 13 different points along the raised trail, there are descriptive signs pointing out what to look for
This lava has the Hawaiian name of pahoehoe
The lava in this picture has the Hawaiian name of 'a'a
Prickly pear cactus in bloom
A gas fissure and barrel cactus blooming
Apache paint brush plant
Joshua Tree which grows very slowly, loves lava and this one is probably about 400 years old
Another shot of the same Joshua Tree
More barrel cactus in bloom
More pahoehoe lava
Pretty pink flowers growing among the prickly pear cactus
Eveline and Gerrit almost back to the top
We drove back into Carrizozo and had lunch at the Four Winds Restaurant. The food was well prepared and the waitress was very attentive. The restaurant is very clean and has been on this spot for many years. After lunch, we drove to 12th Street and explored some art galleries and a photography studio. It was time to drive the 60 miles back to Alamogordo. Eveline and Gerrit had to return to the hotel and pack so they could leave early the next morning to drive to the airport in El Paso, Texas, about 90 miles away.

I think they thoroughly enjoyed their visit. One day, they went on their own to the White Sands Monument and had a grand time meeting other tourists there and visiting with the Park Rangers. They returned that evening for the guided moonlight walk as well. They were well impressed with the State of New Mexico as far as they were able to explore. Maybe they will decide to come again and explore a different area of our beautiful state. Perhaps when it isn't quite so windy!

This is all I have to say for now.

The Kerrs and Friends from The Netherlands Explore Tularosa, New Mexico

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Our friends, Eveline and Gerrit, went with us to check out the acequia, (an ancient irrigation plan used for watering crops and plants) which is still used in Tularosa, New Mexico. Water runs in ditches and one must raise their gate to allow the water needed to flow onto their property. When they have enough water, they reset the gate and the water continues on to the next user.

We found yellow honeysuckle growing wild on the fences along the ditches along with huge pecan trees, mulberry trees and flowers of various types blooming.

Afterwards, we drove to lunch at the Casa de Suenos, our favorite Mexican Restaurant. We definitely wanted them to experience the cuisine there as we think it is the best for miles around.

L to R: Eveline, Gerrit and Carla visiting before our trip to Tularosa

L to R: Doug, Eveline and Gerrit posing for the camera before we leave
Eveline and Carla checking out the direction of the acequia
Carla, Eveline, holding the tree limb out of her face, and Gerrit
Eveline and Carla viewing the acequia
Looks like a serious conversation
The three of us checking out the beautiful good smelling honeysuckle vines
The four of us dining at Casa de Suenos
Eveline and Gerrit can't say this was a run-of-the-mill vacation. I took them to the Rohovec Theatre on the Hill to help collate, fold and staple the playbills for "They Mystery of Pirate's Cove" and they met several members of the cast. On one evening, Alamogordo City Council was meeting and we took them with us to that. They found it to be quite interesting and not at all boring. Of course, politics in Alamogordo is many things, but never boring!

As I am president of the Theatre Guild, while Doug and I were at the monthly meeting, Eveline and Gerrit cooked dinner for us in our kitchen. They made a recipe containing various vegetables, cheeses, butter and spices wrapped in fillo dough and baked in the oven. They also made a delicious avocado salad. What a fabulous treat!

Gerrit cleaning his glasses and getting ready to cook
Here we are enjoying this amazing home cooked meal served with six-grain bread
Eveline taking a well-deserved rest
Time was running out and we had one more adventure to experience so it was off to bed and up early the next morning ready to travel again.

Thank you Douglas A. Kerr, Photography for the great photos.

This is all I have to say for now.

Exploring Cloudcroft, New Mexico With Friends from The Netherlands

Monday, May 9, 2016

Our friends, Eveline and Gerrit from The Netherlands, enjoyed breakfast at our home before we drove to the mountains to explore Cloudcroft, New Mexico. Breakfast was our normal weekday fare including a plate of various fresh fruit and steel cut Irish oatmeal w/raisins, coffee and tea.

We did some visiting and my husband, Doug showed them around the backyard. Our new fence gate did not meet with Gerrit's professional specifications and I am inclined to agree with him. However, it took three attempts before they made one that fit so we have decided to live with it.

We took them to one of our favorite stores in Cloudcroft, Off the Beaten Path, and they thoroughly enjoyed all of the wonderful art on display. Eveline purchased a cap to keep her hair out of her eyes. It was quite windy this day. I could tell she was keenly tempted to buy one of the fabulous cutting blocks created by Thomas Thorp of La Luz, New Mexico and sold in this store.

We than toured The Lodge. How can one visit Cloudcroft and not go to at least see The Lodge. It is such a beautiful old hotel and even has a ghost named Rebecca, also the name of their magnificent dining area.

From there we went to Big Daddy's Diner for lunch and to introduce them to the wonders of posole. They both enjoyed the posole very much and we had a lovely time enjoying this repast.

On our return to Alamogordo, New Mexico, we stopped at the lookout point at the tunnel and they very much enjoyed this. They are both hikers and kayakers, so this area really intrigued them.

Gerrit listening to Eveline and Doug after breakfast
Eveline and Carla inspecting a fabulous Thomas Thorp cutting board
Eveline and Carla listening as one of the owners explaining how the cutting board is created
L to R: Gerrit, Eveline, Carla and an owner of Off the Beaten Path
Eveline, Carla and Gerrit
The Lodge at Cloudcroft
Carla, Eveline and Gerrit
L to R: Doug, Carla, Eveline and Gerrit at Big Daddy's Diner
Gerrit, Carla and Eveline at the lookout point near the tunnel (the only highway tunnel in New Mexico)
Gerrit and Eveline (It's a long way down from where they are standing)
We had a grand time showing Eveline and Gerrit around and we were all properly tired by the time we returned to Alamogordo. Time to rest up for another day of exploring.

Thanks to Douglas A. Kerr, Photography for the great pictures and to the waitress at Big Daddy's Diner for manning the camera so all of us could be in the picture there.

This is all I have to say for now.

Red Hatters and Guests Explore the Iris Farms in Hondo, New Mexico

May 14, 2016

Members of the New Mexico Roadrunner Chapter of the Red Hat Society in Alamogordo, New Mexico took a day trip to the Iris Farms in Hondo, New Mexico. Visiting as well were, Eveline and Gerrit of The Netherlands, friends of Queen Ladybird aka Carla Kerr and her husband, Doug. They came to celebrate Doug's 80th birthday and to see Carla in a play at the NMSU-A Rehovec Theatre on the Hill in Alamogordo.

I took many pictures of the flowers, but will only post a few here so as not to bore you. There was late snow in the mountains where this farm is and many of the irises had not as yet bloomed. However, as you will see, there were plenty to see anyway. I have tried to identify their names where possible.

The group traveled back to Tularosa, New Mexico where they dined at a new restaurant, Grill 49, and were pleasantly surprised at the remodeling  that had been done which made the place full of light and made the ambience very pleasing. The food was delicious and the service impeccable. I'm sure we will visit this place again in the near future.

Joyce Terry
Bold Look Rebloomer
A pair of Robin Redbreasts frolicking in the grass
Clarence Rebloomer
Victoria Falls Rebloomer
Stepping Out
Mega Bucks
One of many beautiful flower beds
Interesting rock formation with flowers called "Devil's Poker"
Red Poppies
Pink Honeysuckle Vine
Gerrit, from The Netherlands, checking out the pond
Eveline, from The Netherlands
Red Hatter Jean Courtier taking a break with Gerrit and Eveline
Gerrit capturing a scene with his camera
L to R: Jan, Jean, VQ Donna, Flo, Alice and Margie ready for lunch at Grill 49 in Tularosa, New Mexico
L to R: Flo, Alice, Margie and Eveline
Jean and VQ Donna signing birthday cards
Jan, Jean and VQ Donna visiting with others across the table
VQ Donna celebrating her birthday with Queen Ladybird aka Carla (Photo by Florence Dean)
VQ Donna beautifully models her new fascinator and enjoying being serenaded with Happy Birthday on kazoos, our Red Hat official musical instrument
Several bought Irises to bring home to plant or as gifts for family members. Several made purchases in the art and clothing store on the premises thus indulging in the Red Hat Society's official sport, "Shopping". It was a great day trip and everyone had a grand time.

This is all I have to say for now.